Mayor Lightfoot, DOH announce Reclaiming Communities Campaign

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Housing (DOH) have outlined the Reclaiming Communities Campaign, a joint venture between Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) and Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC) in partnership with United Power for Action and Justice (UPAJ).

The Reclaiming Communities Campaign is aimed at creating ‘communities of opportunity’ to release vacancy, violence, and decades of disinvestment with affordable homes and opportunities for families to build generational wealth and equity. The campaign will build 250 new homes for buyers as their principal residence in North Lawndale, a key INVEST South/West community.

UPAJ has an aspirational goal of building 1,000 affordable new homes on the South and West sides to help residents build generational wealth through homeownership.

“For many Black and Brown folks, homeownership has become an elusive pipe dream due to decades of discriminatory practices such as predatory loans, redlining, segregation and more,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a statement. “It is crucial that we address the modern-day manifestations of these practices by providing our residents with what they need to achieve homeownership—which has time and time again proven to be a key indicator of future financial stability and generational wealth. Through ‘Reclaiming Chicago,’ we will be able to create a new wave of Black and Brown homeowners and as a result, improve our communities from the inside out for years to come.”

The city will sell 250 city-owned lots to the Reclaiming Communities Joint Venture for $1 each and streamline the acquisition process that will help to reduce construction costs to keep the homes affordable. The city has also designated $5.3 million from the Midwest and Ogden/Pulaski TIF for site remediation and lot preparation.

As part of its commitment to keep the homes affordable, UPAJ has secured $10 million in the state’s budget that passed the Illinois General Assembly last May to provide an average homebuyer subsidy of $30,000 to prospective buyers. UPAJ has also secured commitments totaling $27.55 million to launch Reclaiming Communities, including $12.25 million from private sector sources for a revolving construction fund from JP Morgan Chase, The Steans Family Foundation, The Owens Family Foundation, Pete Villim and The Roche Family Foundation.

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